Potatoes are a key cash crop that has little tolerance for water stress. Tuber market grade, tuber specific gravity, and tuber processing quality for French fries are all critically influenced by water stress during tuber bulking.
- Under irrigation leads to losses in tuber quality, market grade, total yield, and contract price.
- Over irrigation leads to erosion, disease susceptibility, water loss, extra energy costs for pumping, nitrogen leaching, and decreased crop yields
Effective water management is important at each stage of potato growth. A Lindsay irrigation system design will take into account many key factors to meet your specific needs, such as local microclimate, soil types and elevation. Potatoes require a soil moisture content that must be maintained at a relatively high level. For best yields, a 120-150 day crop requires 508 – 698 mm of water. In general, deficits in the middle to late part of the growing period tend to reduce yield more than those in the early part①
Zimmatic irrigation systems deliver the exact amount of water needed at the right time for potatoes. They are engineered with specially designed sprinkler packages. BOSS or VISION computer panels allow the grower to program precise irrigation schedules. While award winning FieldNET by Lindsay remote web irrigation management system provides historical irrigation and chemigation use tables as well as providing alert messages to your cellular phone should there be any field issues.
The Zimmatic Custom Corner has the unique and patented SmartChip technology takes more than 1,000 individual readings of your field which are input into Lindsay's proprietary virtual modeling software. A customized watering program is developed with the best possible application rate for your field. This results in a far more uniform application of water compared to other corners. And that's critical when you're growing high-dollar crops like potatoes.
① Bradley A. King and Jeffrey C. Stark, Potato irrigation Management, bulletin 789, University of Idaho Cooperative Extension, Moscow, Idaho, 1997.